Camden’s mayor wants to know what residents would like to see in their new police department.
A 13-question survey, available on the city’s website, is the next move by Mayor Dana L. Redd in getting community feedback on a proposed regional police force.
Redd recently held nine neighborhood meetings to promote the idea of a countywide force. The concept has been controversial because it requires disbanding the current city police force. Only 49 percent of Camden’s current officers could be hired by the force to work in its Metro division. So far, only Camden has expressed interest in the endeavor, which Redd and other area leaders say would put more boots on the ground.
On Feb. 1, Citizens Community Committee for Public Safety, a group opposed to the regionalization plan, delivered 3,494 signatures to Municipal Clerk Luis Pastoriza in support of altering the police ordinance to stress that the force is to be “maintained by” the city. Click HERE for previous story on this.
Under state law, the group was required to gather signatures from at least 970 people registered to vote in Camden — 15 percent of the turnout in November’s general election — and overcome likely legal challenges for the the matter to be put to a referendum in November.
Though the petitions contained more than 1,997 valid signatures, Pastoriza said, they failed to provide such information as the addresses of the five main petitioners.
The group has until Monday to turn in another petition, which requires a new set of signatures.
The mayor’s survey, which does not have a deadline, asks residents how safe they feel in their neighborhoods, how often they see a police officer, and their opinions on the screening process for police applicants. There is also a section for comments and suggestions.
Though the survey is intended for city residents, respondants are not required to provide their names or addresses.
Those wishing to participate should go to the “Community Public Safety Survey” icon on city’s webpage http://www.ci.camden.nj.us/. Residents can mail, fax, or e-mail the completed survey to Mayor’s Office, 520 Market St., Camden, NJ 0810. The fax number is 856-963-1841 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org